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Corpus Systématique Animale

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Mercury levels in seabirds from the Azores, Mid-North Atlantic Ocean

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  • L. R. Monteiro 1,2
  • R. W. Furness 2
  • A. J. del Nevo 3
  • 1) Department of Oceanography and Fisheries, University of the Azores, 9900, Horta, Portugal
  • 2) Applied Ornithology Unit, University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ, Glasgow, UK
  • 3) Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, SG 19 2DL, Sandy, Bedfordshire, UK

Levels of total mercury were determined in body feathers of 257 seabirds belonging to seven species from the Azores Archipelago, Mid-North Atlantic Ocean. Mercury levels in adult birds showed highly significant inter-specific variations. Median levels were higher in small petrels (Madeiran storm petrel=12.5 ?g/g; Bulwer's petrel=22.1 ?g/g) than in shearwaters (Little shearwater=2.1 ?g/g; Cory's shearwater=6.0 ?g/g) and terns (Roseate tern=2.0 ?g/g; Common tern=2.3 ?g/g). Such inter-specific variability is discussed in relation to biological factors that may influence mercury dynamics in birds. Intra-specific variations in mercury levels were also found. Mercury levels were significantly lower in chicks than in adults of Cory's shearwater, Roseate tern and Common tern. The levels in chick feathers were 60–70% of those in adult feathers. In Cory's shearwater and the terns (Roseate and Common combined), mercury levels decreased significantly with increasing age of chicks. Mercury levels in adult Madeiran storm petrel showed pronounced seasonal variation, being about 50% lower in Spring breeders than in Autumn breeders. Mercury levels are compared with levels reported for seabird populations of the same or related species, from a variety of regions. The use of bird feathers to monitor mercury in the marine environment is briefly discussed.

Catégories Science-Metrix
  • 1 - health sciences
  • 2 - biomedical research
  • 3 - toxicology
Catégories INIST
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
Catégories Scopus
  • 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - Pollution
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics ; 3 - Toxicology
  • 1 - Health Sciences ; 2 - Medicine ; 3 - General Medicine
Catégories WoS
  • 1 - science ; 2 - toxicology
  • 1 - science ; 2 - environmental sciences
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Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

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